The Motley Fool Discussion Boards
Investment Analysis Clubs / Macro Economic Trends and Risks
|Subject: Re: Arctic Ice||Date: 2/24/2014 9:51 PM|
|Author: qazulight||Number: 445428 of 473423|
You are not reading Tim or Qaz correctly. They agree with your assessment if you read them carefully. They just dont have the answers so they put the problem aside. It is not their calling. They are admitting that.
Perhaps. It does sound like "Qaz" does not believe the science community, but has chosen to ignore it. I was really addressing the first bit. If he chooses to ignore it, that's certainly his prerogative. I ignore all sorts of science topics because I don't find them interesting, or at least not sufficiently that I want to spend any time on them. For example, the Higgs Boson. I'm aware they have declared they found it. But I'm not really following it closely, and I certainly am not going to dispute the claim they are making. To refuse to believe them would be, in my opinion, foolish because I simply don't have the background or knowledge (despite being a physicist) to make such a claim (without literally years of study and work in the field).
The first statement is the most accurate. The words believe or deny are absolutes. As investor, or a more accurate position in this case, patriarch, I tend to make decisions based on likely outcomes, not on absolutes.
For instance, a couple of years ago when real estate was cheap and the stock market looked like a rigged game, I invested in a town house (cash) and took out a 30 year loan on a new home, both in Deep East Texas. I did this to move some of my assets out of the hands of the people in New York city. What I did not do was sell everything I had in stocks and buy timber land or a chicken farm. (However, the chicken farm was probably the best deal ever.) I did this because I perceived that the chances were that we would have significant inflation over a multi-decade time period. At this time, my move does not look so wise. Especially in light of the fact that couple of large apartment complexes have been built in the college town and the college enrollment has dropped putting pressure on rents around town. I did not spend all my money on real estate because I saw a probability, but because I saw a probability I spent some.
When it comes to climate science, it appears that the scientist have gathered and analyzed evidence that indicates a large probability that the environment is gaining energy (this energy is mostly being stored as heat, however, energy can be stored or expended, so as the environment, i.e. land, atmosphere and mostly the oceans gain heat we will have more energy stored in the environment for weather related activities. What these activities will be and where these activities will have positive and negative effects has not been modeled well. Actually the models have been so inaccurate as to be completely worthless for patriarch level leadership decisions.)
So, it is not that I do not believe the scientist, nor is it that I ignore the scientist, it is that the scientist have not given me anything that I can use to guide my family.
When it comes to MACRO scale decisions like, a carbon tax, or CO2 curbs, I do not attempt to make them for the reasons that Hans mentioned in his video, and because the costs of hydrocarbons will rise due to the rising cost of extraction and these rising costs themselves will limit the amount of CO2 being put into the atmosphere. However, that does leave the problem of coal, however, even that problem is taking care of itself in China with people simply choking on there own waste.
Finally, while a change in the global climate, especially an abrupt change, which is a possibility could wipe out most of humanity and all of society, that is a possibility. If we were to stop burning all fossil fuels in a relatively short time, we would wipe out most of humanity and maybe save society, and the wiping out of most of humanity part is a probability, a very likely probability.
I believe, and this is with a great deal of certainty, that the the people of the world will not voluntarily eliminate 80 to 90 percent of the population, leaving about a billion people on the planet. This is my generous estimate of the population that could survive without fossil fuels.
Further, as best as I understand it, the heat is being added to the environment not because of heat being produced on earth but rather because of the heat being retained from the sun due to the CO2 in the atmosphere. It seems to me that this is much like a person with a fixed thermostat or heat source in his home. He adds insulation until the house starts getting warmer then thinks, "Oh the house is getting warmer, I will quit adding insulation." then he sits around and wonders why his house is still getting warmer. Of course it is still getting warmer! The heat source is still there and the insulation is still there! The best I understand, if we quit putting CO2 in the atmosphere today, cold turkey, shut the place down, the environment would continue to add heat until the CO2 in the atmosphere was sequestered to the point that the heat from the sun and the heat lost to space reached equilibrium.
So, due to the fact that people do not want to die, (today...everybody wants to go to heaven, just not right now) the world will continue to burn fossil fuels. And due to my assumption that the earth's environment would continue to gain heat even if the all fossil fuel consumption was stopped, a different climate on earth is a given.
So, with a fact, people don't want to die now, and an assumption, the climate is going to change no matter what, I only can hope to adapt. However, I cannot make a decision on how to adapt because all of the models what the climate will do have proven to be completely worthless and apparent "common sense" outcomes are fraught with logical error. So, rather than attempt to wrestle with a problem that gives me no statistical advantage I simply watch and work on problems that I can gain an advantage.
For instance, fracking. Fracking is a labor intensive way of pulling hydrocarbons out of the ground. Even with a worldwide deployment of fracking (We are not there yet, and this is probably why HAL, http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=HAL&ql=0 is selling at a multiple of 24 with a yield of 1.1 percent vice T at a multiple of 10 and a yield of 5.6 percent, or KMP with a multiple of 20, yield 5.8 percent). we will probably only be able to hold oil at around today's prices for less than 10 more years.
I look at fracking and I don't see the world floating in oil. I see the world not dying of starvation in the next 10 years with a chance, and it is just a chance to build a future. So I see fracking, and I buy,
VFF.TO because the climate will change, but people will eat.
I buy Solar City, because this oil is not cheap.
I buy Tesla, because, well; I don't have any yet, but I keep hoping something bad will happen so I can grab some shares.
I buy KMP, because oil is going to get shipped and pipe is the best way to do it.
I study math and chemistry to prepare myself to work with massive batteries and fuel cells, because energy reliability and costs are critical to the industry I work in, (and batteries and fuel cells are just cool.)
What I do not do it is fret over things I cannot control, or support policies that would probably be as successful as Hitlers "Battle of the Bulge, or the Japanese plan at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
All this is not to say I am sanguine about the environment, on the contrary, I take as many actions as I can to prepare myself and my family for changes in the environment, and I am frustrated at the lack of useful tools to project what the environment will be like in the near (30 years) future. These uncertainties make it impossible for me to campaign for any big multi-generation bets on the future. I.E. A million dollar chicken farm, or a 2 or 3 hundred acre tree farm. I simply cannot put that much, (essentially all of my assets plus leverage)into a single project with the possibility of significant climate change wiping me or my children out.
I will note, on the bright side, sudden climate change is not currently forecast as a probability. Although it is possible. even then, the rapid climate change is not a "Day After Tomorrow" scenario.
With a gradual climate change, I believe that not only will humanity survive, civilization will survive, and thrive.
|Copyright 1996-2015 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us|